The Edmonton Oilers are in a slump having gone 2-5-1 in their last 8 games. I, being a fan who has witnessed many a streak like this, am very concerned and very worried. Is this the real Oilers or is it simply a blip on the radar…??? No one knows the answer but I am truly concerned that this team is back to reality and headed back to the basement. I know I should be more positive but how can I be? I’ve watched this team be terrible for so long and it’s only natural that I’m wary of this team and this organization. How could I not be?
I really don’t want to jump off the bandwagon I really don’t. I’m simply an Oilers fan who has seen way too many bad things happen since 2006 to not be teetering on the edge of the band wagon. I want to believe so badly. I want this team to be “for real” but are they or did they simply have a great start to the season before reality kicked in…???
- On a positive note to start, teenager Connor Mcdavid continues to impress with 19 points in 16 games which puts him 3rd in the N.H.L. scoring behind only Mark Scheifele and Tyler Seguin. He could easily be first if his line mates had a bit better finish. I’ve noticed a few times each and every game where 97 has fed a ridiculous pass for a fantastic scoring chance to a team mate who can’t finish. I get that every player “could” have more points but I believe 97 is easily at the top of the “could” list.
- GM Peter Chiarelli changed the look of the roster since taking over. This team is much bigger and tougher to compete against. The good news about the Oilers struggles of late is that they played mostly Eastern Conference teams and this Oilers team is simply not built to play against the high-flying Rangers and Penguins. They are built to compete against the gruelling Western Conference. I think we find out this week if it worked as they play the Ducks and the Kings where they used to always get crushed and humiliated. I’m excited to see how the team does this week against these big, bruising teams.
- What’s with all the Lucic critics of late? He has 9 points through 16 games for a .56 points per game. Lucic’s last two season average out to a .61 points per game. Considering Lucic is on a new team, getting used to new systems, a new city, etc. I’d say he is right on track for giving the team exactly what he always gives his team. No one should have expected him to get 80 points. He should get his usual 50ish points. His intangibles are what this team needed.
- Tyler Pitlick continues to surprise and good on him! He has been very noticeable this season so much so that he was even elevated to the Mcdavid line last night. Pitlick knows his role and is playing it perfectly!
- Enough with the Nuge bashing. If you’ve watched the team this year and haven’t thought he has been good then I’m sorry but you don’t know hockey. Nuge is playing a 200 foot game and is playing very solid. Sure his 7 points isn’t good enough but look who he has been playing with and in what role. He is being used as a third line center with checking wingers on most nights. It has been pretty rare that he has played any gravy time with the top players. Leave Nuge alone. He is the least of this teams problems.
- The bigger problem for me is Eberle. He finally has been healthy and has played almost every game with Mcdavid. His points aren’t the problem for me as he has 12 points and is on pace for 62 points. My problem is he still refuses to play well away from the puck. Too many goals are scored against when he’s on the ice which simply isn’t good enough. He is now 26 and it is time to play like it.
- Boy do the Oilers need the backend to get healthy! The team has clearly missed Kris Russell the most and having Benning, Gryba and Nurse all in the line up at the same time simply isn’t good enough. It has been pretty quiet on the Russell, Davidson and Fayne injuries so I assume none of them are anywhere near to coming back which scares me.
It’s time for the Oilers to get out of this funk and maybe playing a bruising couple games on the west coast is just the way to do it. A little reminder as to how they need to play game in and game out. I haven’t jumped off the band wagon yet so I’ll be watching and desperately hoping that the team turns this around ASAP and goes on another hot streak.
Come on Oilers! Don’t hurt me anymore!
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